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Bearded.com Redesigned!

The new Bearded website is up! It’s a jaunty little two-pager – and a primarily static site, at that (not a standard approach for us). The whole thing was conceived of, written, designed, built, and tested in three weeks, during a pause in a couple of our client work obligations.

So why the rush? The new site is the absolute minimum viable product for Bearded, and the choice to do our site this way stands in stark contrast to the ambitious, comparatively large-scale new site we’d been chipping away at since late 2013.

Problem is, we came to realize that the big site we’d been so invested in no longer represented what Bearded does. We’d changed. Rather than focusing on full-stack, backend-heavy, soup to nuts projects, we’ve honed our focus to what we’re best at: strategy, design, front-end development, and training. More often than not these days, we’re collaborating with in-house teams at larger organizations, helping them with what we’re best at, and allowing them to do the parts they’re best at, too. This arrangement makes total sense for a group of our size, and we’ve been embracing it whole-heartedly.

Rather than trying to slowly steer our large, 80%-finished ship to different waters – we tossed it aside and built something small and light that does exactly what we need. It was a tough decision to make, but we couldn’t be happier with the results. As we have time, we’ll likely add more features and information. But for now it gets the message right, which is a pretty great start.

I’m constantly reminded of a Hemingway quote that came to me via Hillman Curtis’ book MTIV: “take out the good parts, and see if it still works.” If you like something too much to throw it away when it’s outlived its use, that’s a problem. No matter how enamored we might be with an idea, or a feature, or an implementation (or a whole site!), it’s good to step back occasionally and see if it still makes sense. And if not – to act. We did, and this is the result. Hope you like it! 

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Pittsburgh Glass Center

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We just launched the new Pittsburgh Glass Center website, and boy are we excited! We began the planning and research for the project back in June, and now all those ideas and months tapping away at our keyboards have coalesced into a live, functioning piece of the multi-device web. It never ceases to amaze me.

The new Glass Center site has loads of great functionality (which you can read more about on the Bearded site), and everything is built responsively, with a fluid layout. It was designed “in the browser” using CSS and HTML comps – and to us the resulting designs and approach really show the benefits of that process.

This site happened only because of the heroic efforts of all involved. This project also saw our client contacts, Sam and Paige, really become part of the team – something we love to see happen on a project. They’ve been smart, studious, thoughtful, and empathetic – truly ideal clients.

On the Bearded side, this would not have been possible without the labors of Brett Bender, Matt Braun, Mark Frey, Lauren Fries, Patrick Fulton, and Michael Hellein. I’m immensely proud of this project, and have the intelligence, patience, and skill of all these good folks to thank for it. Sam from PGC summed it up pretty well on Twitter this weekend. And don’t I know it.

–MG